Surface Tension - surface area growth : energy


Surface tension is a contractive tendency of the surface of a liquid that allows it to resist an external force. Surface tension is an important property that markedly influences the ecosystem. Surface tension is exposed, for example, any time an object or insect (e.g. water striders) that is denser than water is able to float or run along the water surface. At liquid-air interfaces, surface tension results from the greater attraction of water molecules to each other (due to cohesion) than to air (due to adhesion). The net effect is an inward force at its surface that causes water to behave as if its surface were covered with a stretched elastic membrane. Because of the relatively high attraction of water molecules for each other, water has a high surface tension (72.8 millinewtons per meter at 20°C) compared to that of most other liquids. Surface tension is an important factor in the phenomenon of capillarity.

Related formulas


γsurface tension (N/m)
Wpotential energy (J)
ΔAtotal area of film increase (m2)